In our-ever evolving quest to treat our earth and environment more gently, there have been some awesome and some not-so-awesome discoveries and changes. I happily stumbled upon what I hope will become a trend of the not-so-distant future.
Dr. Billy Campbell and his wife, Kimberly, respect the circle of life in all things and have found a way to back up their convictions with action. Their idea is conservation burial. The Campbells have purchased a nature preserve near Westminster, South Carolina that is being utilized as a "green" burial ground for people interested in being laid to rest sans embalming, metal caskets, or vaults.
At Ramsey Creek Preserve and also at the Campbell's second conservation burial area near Atlanta, there are no fancy headstones, no mausoleum's, no containers full of dying or plastic flowers. People are buried there in simple wooden caskets, or shrouds, or in their street clothes--any manner they wish that uses biodegradable material--and their burial sites are marked with stone indigenous to the area with simple, chiseled writing or may remain unmarked if so chosen. Those who have been cremated may have their ashes scattered there, or their receptacles placed there.
"There" is a beautifully wooded area with running streams and wildlife. As the bodies decompose, they feed back to the earth, just as our ancestors did not all that long ago. But Ramsey Creek Preserve is not really about death at all, but much more about the circle of life. There is a simple pine-boarded chapel for funeral services. There are plans to build an observation tower so that visitors can view the wetlands area.
I cannot do justice here to fully describe this concept of conservation burial, but I hope that I have whet your interest or curiousity enough that you'll click on the title of this post to go to the Campbell's website to learn more about Memorial Ecosystems. In addition, here's a link to Natural Burial's site: http://naturalburial.coop/